The first day of Harvest Moon gave little insight into the relative strength of Ozark Conference teams. The lack of head-to-head matches today certainly limited what we could learn, but an absence of data points should be remedied tomorrow. Even so, we still did see a glimpse of what the regular season might look like.
1. Washington University is better than Missouri State.
The Contrabears may have lost a lot of talent from last year, including standouts Joe MacDonald and Evan Winograd, but they are still stronger than a Missouri State team that has been stuck in a constant rebuilding phase since 2006. The relative strength of both teams was evident as Wash U defeated Missouri State, 13-5.
2. Missouri is better than St. Louis. Maybe.
Missouri and St. Louis both return most of their starters. Last year at the Conference Tournament Loki beat the MUtants 11-9. But that was last year and this is now — even though both teams look similar. Two weeks ago Missouri beat St. Louis by six breaks at Glory Days and today they beat them by five. And yet, today was a struggle as Loki took an early lead and stayed with the MUtants until the final quarter of the game when Missouri went on a four point run to close out the game.
3. Arkansas Looks Good. So far.
Last year Arkansas fell short of expectations and did not even get to play in the post-season because they missed the USAU’s roster deadline. However, everyone from last year returns. And by everyone that includes All-Region standout Matt Jackson who had limited playing time today with a jammed thumb. Even so, Arkansas outscored all opponents by 26 and beat Hendrix who finished second in the A Pool today, 13-7.